25 May 2006

ENTWINEMENTS is the name of my small–really it’s micro–company that hand-makes and markets colorful, pleated silk shibori accessories.
We begin with plain white silk and dye and manipulate it to transform it into scarves, shawls and wraps that have many colors and are pleated. The goal is to get the color and pleats alinged so that as the pleats open and close the visible color changes.
We sell through a few Galleries and Boutiques and through a some indoor, fine craft shows.

I began the company in 1983, shortly after I arrived in Yellow Springs. I started it to sell hand-woven clothing that I was making at the time. I was fully employed or more as an assistant professor of chemistry at Antioch College.
I had subscribed to a publication, COLOR TRENDS ( a wonderful little treasure), produced by Michele Wipplinger of Seattle. In it I saw my first sample that was called shibori. It was a 2″x2″ swatch of silk/rayon charmeuse made by Michele and D’Arcie Beytebiere. It was flat but had different coloration on the silk and rayon sides. I found it very intriguing.
At the next Convergence was in Chicago where Maya Romanoff covered the Times building in shibori panels! I was primed and saw more of D’Arcie’s work and then saw some of Ana Lisa Hedstrom’s in Columbus.
I had bought a bolt of white silk to use as linings for my hand-wovens. I’d thought I’d try some of this shibori, I had dyes on hand since I was doing ikat at the time. So I ran the sewing machine across the silk a few times, gather it up and dyed it. What a disappointment! A few tiny white points in my dye ground were all I got. It was clear to me I needed help– a book or a class. In March 1989 I took a shibori/beading class at Penland taught by D’Arcie and Virginia Blakelock and bought Wada’s first book on shibori.
No matter how labor intensive shibori is, it is instant gratification to a weaver. The dye pots quickly displaced the looms and yarns (the looms will come back when I retire) and I started selling silk shibori at craft show in 1990. By the mid 90’s I had left all other work and was looking for help in the studio. Now I usually have 2 people that help in the studio and office. Packing, shipping, bookkeeping, ironing are all things I like to have help with.
I believe that creativity is not limited to the art work but should be employed on how you do the tasks too. Over the past 16 years I have looked for and developed tools and equipment that make the process of shibori better and more efficient. But the process can only be done by hand in very labor intensive process to achieve our unique colorations.
Labor intensive textiles made here are costly and we can only make a few. Our goal is to make a limited number of exquisite textiles and connect with a few people who appreciate these textiles and can afford to have one in their lives. I have much pleasure making these textiles, I hope they give pleasure to their owners.


One Response to “What is ENTWINEMENTS?”

  1. Entwinements, a shibori blog

    I found a blog last week that I’ve been meaning to write about but I just couldn’t figure out where to start with it. The first descriptive that comes to mind is “an amazing display of intellectual generosity” but that…


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